Worthing homeless charity denied funding to help vulnerable

A HOMELESS charity seeking to provide housing for some of its most vulnerable clients has had its funding application to Worthing Borough Council turned down.

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Worthing Churches Homeless Projects applied for £175,000 to partially fund six studio flats at its shared living hostel.

While the charity boasts a success rate in dealing with clients of around 80 per cent, a small proportion of cases remain difficult to rehabilitate.

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Chief executive John Holmstrom said the studio flats would ease the pressures that shared hostel living presented but the Joint Strategic Committee said there was not enough evidence for the application.

Mr Holmstrom said: “A small proportion of our total client group are revolving door cases, who have been in our services but have not succeeded.

“A common theme was often because they were vulnerable and had mental health issues and struggled with the demands of shared hostel living.”

The application asked for 50 per cent of the funding, to create self-contained flats with 24/7 staffing.

By getting the clients off the streets, Mr Holmstrom said it would allow other agencies, such as Addaction, to work with them easier.

He said: “In our hostels there are high expectations with dealing with alcohol problems and they have a very structured project.

“Sometimes, for whatever reason, they can’t cope with the pressures of shared hostel living.

“We are confident we would be able to make much better progress. It is not going to solve the problem but will make a contribution.”

The project would help a small minority of the charity’s clients but would be ‘crucial’ in reducing the number of homeless.

Mr Holmstrom said: “If you can get street homelessness as close to zero as possible then there is no street community to latch onto and hence that small percentage becomes quite crucial.”

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, March 20.